Google Compute Engine Target Instance

This page shows how to write Terraform for Compute Engine Target Instance and write them securely.

google_compute_target_instance (Terraform)

The Target Instance in Compute Engine can be configured in Terraform with the resource name google_compute_target_instance. The following sections describe 3 examples of how to use the resource and its parameters.

Example Usage from GitHub
resource "google_compute_target_instance" "default" {
  name     = "target"
  instance =

data "google_compute_image" "vmimage" {
resource "google_compute_target_instance" "this" {
  description = var.description
  instance    = var.instance
  name        =
  nat_policy  = var.nat_policy
  project     = var.project
resource "google_compute_target_instance" "target" {
  project  = var.project_id # Replace this with your project ID in quotes
  name     = "target"
  zone     = "us-east4-c"
  instance =

Review your Terraform file for Google best practices

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Creation timestamp in RFC3339 text format.

An optional description of this resource.

The Compute instance VM handling traffic for this target instance. Accepts the instance self-link, relative path (e.g. 'projects/project/zones/zone/instances/instance') or name. If name is given, the zone will default to the given zone or the provider-default zone and the project will default to the provider-level project.

Name of the resource. Provided by the client when the resource is created. The name must be 1-63 characters long, and comply with RFC1035. Specifically, the name must be 1-63 characters long and match the regular expression 'a-z?' which means the first character must be a lowercase letter, and all following characters must be a dash, lowercase letter, or digit, except the last character, which cannot be a dash.

NAT option controlling how IPs are NAT'ed to the instance. Currently only NO_NAT (default value) is supported. Default value: "NO_NAT" Possible values: ["NO_NAT"]

URL of the zone where the target instance resides.

Explanation in Terraform Registry

Represents a TargetInstance resource which defines an endpoint instance that terminates traffic of certain protocols. In particular, they are used in Protocol Forwarding, where forwarding rules can send packets to a non-NAT'ed target instance. Each target instance contains a single virtual machine instance that receives and handles traffic from the corresponding forwarding rules. To get more information about TargetInstance, see:

Tips: Best Practices for The Other Google Compute Engine Resources

In addition to the google_compute_disk, Google Compute Engine has the other resources that should be configured for security reasons. Please check some examples of those resources and precautions.



Ensure the encryption key for your GCE disk is stored securely

It is better to store the encryption key for your GCE disk securely. Secret Manager could be used instead.



Ensure your VPC firewall blocks unwanted outbound traffic

It is better to block unwanted outbound traffic not to expose resources in the VPC to unwanted attacks.



Ensure appropriate service account is assigned to your GCE instance

It is better to create a custom service account for the instance and assign it.



Ensure OS login for your GCE instances is enabled at project level

It is better to enable OS login for your GCE instances. Enabling OS login ensures that SSH keys used to connect to instances are mapped with IAM users, allowing centralized and automated SSH key management.



Ensure to use modern TLS protocols

It's better to adopt TLS v1.2+ instead of outdated TLS protocols.



Ensure VPC flow logging is enabled

It is better to enable VPC flow logging. VPC flow logging allows us to audit traffic in your network.

Review your Google Compute Engine settings

In addition to the above, there are other security points you should be aware of making sure that your .tf files are protected in Shisho Cloud.

Frequently asked questions

What is Google Compute Engine Target Instance?

Google Compute Engine Target Instance is a resource for Compute Engine of Google Cloud Platform. Settings can be wrote in Terraform.

Where can I find the example code for the Google Compute Engine Target Instance?

For Terraform, the philipphomberger/terraforms-gcloud-windowsvm, niveklabs/google and freight-hub/terraform-modules-demo source code examples are useful. See the Terraform Example section for further details.


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